Empire Theatre (42nd Street)

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The theatre in its current use as the lobby of the AMC Empire 25 multiplex movie theatre.

The Empire Theatre is a former Broadway theatre located on 42nd Street in Manhattan, New York City.


Originally opened as the Eltinge 42nd Street Theatre,[1] in 1912, it was designed by noted theatre architect Thomas W. Lamb,[1] and named for Julian Eltinge.[1][2] Its first production was Bayard Veiller's Within the Law, a hit that ran for more than a year.[3]

Originally specializing in light comedies,[2] it suffered during the Great Depression and became first a burlesque theatre,[2] then a movie theater in 1942.[1] It was renamed the Empire Theatre in 1954,[1] after the demolition of the previous theatre of the same name.

In 1998, as part of the renewal of 42nd Street led by the New 42nd Street coalition and real estate developer Bruce Ratner, the entire theatre was lifted off its foundation and moved westward approximately 170 feet (52 m).[2] In its new location, the shell of the theatre auditorium was converted into a lobby and lounge for a 25-screen AMC Theatres multiplex, the AMC Empire 25, with escalators leading to the newly built auditoriums passing through the former proscenium arch of the stage. The theater opened in April 2000.[2][4]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Empire Theatre-ibdb:The Internet Broadway Database". ibdb.com. The Broadway League. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e John Holusha (February 28, 1998). "The Theater's on a Roll, Gliding Down 42d Street; Fast-Moving Times Square Revitalization Leaves No Stone or Building Unturned". The New York Times. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ Henderson, Mary C. & Greene, Alexis (2008). The Story of 42nd Street: The Theaters, Shows, Characters, and Scandals of the World's Most Notorious Street. Back Stage Books. pp. 147–148. ISBN 9780823030729. 
  4. ^ "AMC Empire 25". cinematreasures.org. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 

Coordinates: 40°45′24″N 73°59′21″W / 40.75667°N 73.98917°W / 40.75667; -73.98917